Flash Fiction #236

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

FAIR TRADE

How do you get down off an elephant?
You don’t!  You get down off a duck.

I got a dog for my wife.
Seems like a good swap.

I saw a sign that said, Watch For Children.
I thought, that’s a fair trade.

Maybe I could get the Traders to exchange some new jokes for these old ones.  I would trade two weeks of COVID isolation for a fortnight visit to Wilmington, NC, to see how it took 75 years for Southerners to trade their insecure, racist bigotry, for acceptance, and peaceful coexistence.  It’s still not perfect, but it’s better.

***

Join the merry band of Friday Fictioneers.  Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple https://rochellewisoff.com/ site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #226

Scam

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE

I came off the Parkway, to surface streets, and at the top of the ramp stood a 30ish female with a sign saying

Homeless and Hungry
Anything will help

Seat-belted in, guys can’t reach wallets. Women with purses are good marks.

Clothes are neat and clean – there’s an insulated bag, stuffed with something. Under/behind it is a $125 backpack, better than mine. Its carry-handles tied around a sign-post, is a Wal-Mart bag full of groceries, including four cans of Campbell’s soups. It’s hard to make those up over a campfire.

I’m not saying she’s a scammer, but she looks it. 😳

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

Smitty’s Loose Change #12

Smitty's Loose Change

We (the wife) have acquired a new medical specialist, a Physiatrist (fizz-eye-aah-tryst). This is a term invented by another doctor in 1957. It originally was an alternative to physician, or GP, to distinguish from the growing horde of specialists. Over the ensuing 60 years though, it has come to refer to a doctor who specializes in pain management and control.

He recommends and co-ordinates with chiropractors, osteopaths, massage therapists, and physiotherapists. He can prescribe specific medications, but usually leaves it to the patient and their GP. He can recommend exercises for specific muscle groups, for home, gym or physio sessions. As a last resort, he is trained and authorized to administer injections of analgesics or cortisones.

His clinic is not – and may never be – authorized to administer the long-term, IV-drip, pain-med infusions that I drive the daughter 60 miles every 8/9 weeks to get.

***

I recently got a phone call from a polling firm, working on behalf of my electricity supplier, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro. While seeming simple, the questions were actually rather confusing. They wanted to know why I had chosen K/W Hydro, and what it would take for me to recommend them to another potential user.

They asked about draws, perhaps one or more customers could have their monthly charge written off. The finances are a closed system. It takes X amount of money to purchase and distribute power. If one (or more) people don’t have to pay, then the rest of us all have to pay a bit more. I don’t want to pay any extra, and, if I were to win, I’d feel guilty about the rest paying more.

Then they asked about rebates. If they can afford to give rebates, then they’re overcharging us. The final suggestion was to donate money to charity. It’s a feel-good idea, but, either they’re overcharging, or we’re all going to pay more, to finance that scheme.

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but the truly bizarre thing about all this is that they hold a monopoly. No other power-supply company can operate in this district. We have Hobson’s choice – take it, or else. The only other options are to freeze in the dark, or buy a Honda generator at Home Despot. And, my bill went up to help pay for this useless survey.

***

I’ve been translating German names again. Some of them give cause for wonder/amusement.
Einwechter = one – of a half. One what?? Of a half of what? I suppose the Germans know.
Kieswetter = cheese weather – which is a sky overcast with small, dark, chunky clouds that resemble cheese curds. How in Hell you get named after rain clouds, I don’t know. No wonder these people tried to conquer Europe – Twice

Kieswetter

***

Arbitrary

How you’ve heard it: “His bookshelves are organized in a totally arbitrary way. “What it means: Random, erratic, unpredictable, not based on coherent logic whatsoever.

It may be unpredictable to you. It may appear erratic, but it is not random! ‘Arbitrary’ means selected, or chosen. The books on the shelf may be arranged by size, by color, by the number of pages, or even in reverse alphabetical order of the authors’ first names. You may not see the order. You may not agree with the logic, but the owner arbitrarily chose it. He may even have chosen random.

***

My neurologist, the guy who probably saved my sight – the doctor who was willing to throw me in the trunk of his car and drive me 60 miles to a hospital specializing in eye health – has been charged with 34 counts of sexual harassment, and had his medical license revoked. I did not see that coming.

***

We recently survived another Federal election. One of the son’s co-workers asked him – based on the number of lawn signs – who he felt would be the winner in our neighborhood. The son replied that it looked like Re/Max Realty was out ahead, with Century 21 close behind. The son held out hope for a young upstart named Butter Tart Festival, holding a revival meeting at a local tourist trap. The worker protested, “Aren’t you ever serious?” “Sometimes.” “See, there you go again.” Ya just can’t win.

 

Flash Fiction #193

box-office-ted-strutz

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

ETAIL/RETAIL

The world, she is a-changin’. Nothing is sure but death and taxes, and a photo with two adjacent signs which say ‘Pine’ ‘BOX’, make that evident. Did Amazon become successful because retail chains failed, or are retail chains failing because Amazon successfully serves the market?

Where does Amazon get all its boxes? Where stores were once required to compress and dispose of cardboard packaging, now my garage is full of little boxes. Amazon could come around and pick up a bunch of ‘em.

I bought a cross-cut shredder to protect from identity theft, but I won’t buy a damned compactor.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

Flash Fiction #189

Signs

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

I’VE SEEN THE SIGNS

When the Europeans came to North America, the natives did not own the land. They felt the concept to be silly. Land was like the air – ever and unending. Groups might squabble about who could live or hunt on some portion of it, but The Great Spirit had put it there for all to share.

The White Man soon taught them about ownership and possession. Corporations and governments, which also didn’t “own” the land, sold chunks of it to groups and individuals. Soon, the walls went up, and then the fences – first stone, then split rail, and finally, wire fences.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

***

After the fences came the signs – signs meant “to keep all the other people out, and to keep Mother Nature in.” Click to hear the Five Man Electrical Band decry the restrictive commercialization of our land and society.

Friday Fictioneers

 

It’s Not Catching

Doctor

Doctors at a hospital in Brooklyn, New York have gone on strike. Hospital officials say they will find out what the doctors’ demands are as soon as they can get a pharmacist over there to read the picket signs!

***

Marriage is like a deck of cards.  When you start out, all you need is a couple of hearts, and a diamond.  After a few years though, you’re hoping for a club and a spade.

***

I called the animal shelter today and told them that I’d found six kittens in a suitcase in the woods.  They asked, “Are they moving?”  I said, “I don’t know, but that would explain the suitcase.

***

A professor at the University of Oklahoma was giving a lecture on ‘Involuntary Muscular Contractions’ to his first year medical students.  Realizing this was not the most riveting subject, the professor decided to lighten the mood slightly.  He pointed to a young woman in the front row and said,  ‘Do you know what your asshole is doing while you’re having an orgasm?’  Her answer: “He’s probably at the shooting range with his buddies.”

***

A drunken man with a suitcase and a newspaper arrives at the railway station and sits on a bench near a priest. The drunk takes a bottle of whisky out of his bag, drinks a lot of it and then reads the newspaper quietly. At one point he asks the priest:

“Excuse me, Father; do you know why people get sick with spondylosis?”

“Of course”, the priest answers in a cold and sarcastic courtesy. “The factors that cause spondylosis are: a messy life, the companionship of doubtful-quality women, the excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco, drunks ending up in brothels… All these lead to spondylosis”.

“Wowww! I would never have believed that…” replies the drunk and then reads his newspaper again.

After the priest thinks for a while at what he said, he again addresses the drunkard, but this time in a gentle tone:

“Excuse me, I didn’t mean to offend you. How long are you sick with spondylosis, my son?”

“Me? No, Father… I’ve never been sick with it. I just read in the newspaper that the Pope is sick with spondylosis…”

***

A woman was arrested and fined for bringing her own popcorn, candy and soda to a movie theater.  The good news is that she came out a few bucks ahead of if she’d bought it all at the snack bar.

 

A Drive In The Country

pig

The difference between men and women in one
paragraph:

A man is driving up a steep, narrow mountain
road. A woman is driving down the same road.

As they pass each other, the woman leans out
the window and yells, “Pig!”

The man immediately leans out the window and
replies, “Bitch!”

They each continue on their way, and as the
man rounds the next corner, he crashes into
a pig in the middle of the road.

(The sad, real joke about that, is that it took FOUR more paragraphs.)

***

The past, present, and future all walk into a bar. It was tense.

***

A 75-year old man went to his doctor’s office
to get a sperm count. The doctor gave the man
a jar and said, “Take this jar home and bring me
back a sample tomorrow.” The next day, the
75-year old man reappears at the doctor’s office
and gives him the jar, which is as clean and
empty as on the previous day. The doctor asks
what happened, and the man explains, “Well, doc,
it’s like this. First I tried with my right hand,
but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but
nothing. Then I asked my wife for help. She tried
with her right hand, but nothing. Then her left,
but nothing. She even tried with her mouth, first
with the teeth in, then with the teeth out, and
still nothing. Hell, we even called up the lady
next door, and she tried with both hands and her
mouth too, but nothing.” The doctor was shocked.
“You asked your NEIGHBOR?” The old man replied,
“Yep, but no matter what we tried, we couldn’t
get the damn jar open!”

***

Great Signs

In a Dry Cleaner’s Emporium:
“Drop your pants here.”

On an Electrician’s truck:
“Let us remove your shorts.”

On a Butcher’s window:
“Let me meat your needs.”

In a Beauty Shop:
“Dye now!”

On Maternity Room door:
“Push, Push, Push.”

In a Veterinarian’s waiting room:
“Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”

On the side of a firewood delivery truck:
“Fulfilling all your burning desires!”

At an Optometrist’s Office:
“If you don’t see what you’re looking
for, you’ve come to the right place.”

On a fence:
“Salesmen welcome. Dog food is expensive.”

Outside a Muffler Shop:
“No appointment necessary. We’ll hear you coming.”

Outside a Hotel:
“Help Wanted. We need inn-experienced people.”

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
“Drive carefully, we’ll wait.”

On a Music Teacher’s door:
“Out Chopin, Bach in a minuet.”

On the door of a Computer Store:
“Out for a quick byte.”

***

Don’t Piss me Off. I’m running out of places to
hide the bodies.

***

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

 

 

All Day, And All Of The Night

fire-roger-bultot

30% of you either can’t count, or don’t know the difference between day and night – or both. Now that you’re insulted, here’s why.

In the picture above, the ‘No Parking’ sign says “from 10 AM to 12 PM.”  I know that they mean only for two hours, but the sign takes it from one ‘time zone’ into another, making it seem as if it indicates fourteen.

Let’s start at the bottom. There is no 12 AM or 12 PM!  The M stands for meridiem, noon, the split second that the sun is highest in the sky.  AM is ante meridiem – before noon.  PM is post meridiem – after noon.  You can’t have a 12:00 o’clock noon that is before noon, or after noon.

I recently was researching something on Dictionary.com, and came across this statement, “Noon is conventionally expressed as 12 p.m. or 12:00 p.m. and midnight as 12 a.m. or 12:00 a.m.” Some quick research revealed that only 30% of people believe that.  Like a bunch of dentists in Reno, it’s not really that big a convention.

I like the Military or Medical way of doing things. With 1200, or 2400, there’s no doubt or confusion.  Son Shimoniac sets his wristwatch to 24 Hour time, or he used to, until he decided to get two pocket watches, one for work, one for dress.

No Parking sign painters in NYC used to be part of the 30% wrong-way crowd, until a court challenge proved them wrong – or at least so confusing as to be unenforceable. Signs had to be repainted, indicating noon as ‘noon’ or ‘Nn’, and midnight as ‘Mn.’

Yin Yang

Let’s learn to count. Did you start at 1, and end at 12?  Actually, you started at zero, and stopped at 12.  If 2 follows 1, and 3 follows 2, and 4 follows 3….then 12 follows 11.  If 1, and 2, and 3.…and 11 are AM, then 12 is AM too.  You don’t start counting at 12, and end at 11.  Like the Yin/Yang, you begin with the least, and end with the most.  The one chronon – noon (or midnight) – between 12:00 and 00:00 is where AM turns to PM.

I was going to continue with my usual long-winded rant, but it’s like explaining that water is wet. If you still don’t get it, if you don’t understand that 12 comes after 11, not before, I can’t help you.  Don’t blame me when you get a parking ticket.  Like the band Chicago’s song, 25 or 6 to 4 – Does anybody really know what time it is?    😕